Analyses show that the proportion of the building envelope that is opaque is growing. Architects are increasingly designing punched openings and ribbon windows, which means that fully transparent façade solutions are less common. As a result, Schüco presented at BAU a prototype with a closed workflow, which allows architects’ concepts of façade cladding to be realised with opaque areas that can be freely parameterised.
Design Cover Concept
Javier García Ferrés - Arquitectos y consultores Barcelona /E
A new, sustainable face
PROFILE: Fully glazed buildings are becoming less common over time – do you agree?
Javier García: Yes, I do. Just for energy-efficiency reasons alone, that will be the case. A zero energy house made of glass: it's inconceivable at present. Take a project on which I was involved: it had to achieve passive house standard and the proportion of windows could not exceed 40%. The remaining façade surface had to consist of panels for insulation. Glass and panels, otherwise nothing. My colleagues and I racked our brains over an alternative façade solution; a purely glass façade in this instance would have been completely counterproductive.
PROFILE: How did you overcome this challenge?
Javier García: We looked at the façade asa face, rather than just a shell. When requirements make it impossible for you to only use one material, then you have to look for another material. Otherwise the building – and you yourself – are faced with an irreconcilable conflict. In this regard, I see the Design Cover Concept as a truly futuristic way of thinking.
Dr. Alexander Rieck - LAVA Stuttgart/GER
Processes, production and performance
With the parametric development of façades and a continuous process chain, Schüco has taken an important step. Now all of those concerned – architects, engineers, software developers, mechanical engineers and the construction industry – must work together to further advance this process.
PROFILE: Which advantages do you see in the development of ventilated façades?
Dr. Alexander Rieck: We are currently working with greater intensity on high performance façade systems. This is where functional aspects, such as energy, solar shading, pollution, views, etc. converge in a façade with a very dynamic design. Planning, production and assembly are the really interesting aspects where economical development is concerned. I see the advantages in the state of production engineering and in the organisation of construction – the consistency of the data is the key to these. For the ventilated façade, we are able to control all of the aspects more easily; for nonventilated façades this is far more complex. Ultimately, a uniform system from a single source is beneficial because the interfaces are defined.
PROFILE: The Schüco Design Cover concept is based on digital planning tools and a seamless workflow. Will the closed data chain change construction?
Dr. Alexander Rieck: For one thing, there is the great advantage of efficiency – from planning reliability to quality assurance. All interfaces are covered by new software solutions, even the production chain is integrated. This also happens in other sectors under the concept »Industry 4.0«. This development is now being applied to construction. Schüco is at the forefront, this process is the right way. The frame construction represented a start, now it is a question of thinking about the wider possibilities.
Roy Veldman - IBP Interieurbouw Terwolde/NL
Gerhard Kippers - Kippers Interieurarchitectuur Drogteropslagen/NL
Organic overall concept
PROFILE: What applications could you imagine for the 3-dimensional Design Cover Concept?
Gerhard Kippers: It's a great system for turning a building with a simple basic structure into something special. I see great potential in terms of corporate architecture. Companies can show themselves to be modern and innovative. I would also like to see the system used inside the building, for example, as an atrium.
Roy Veldman: What's exciting is the combination of the organic form with the possibilities of a curtain wall, which one can simply set in front of existing structures – both inside and outside, for newbuilds and renovation projects. With this system, it's no longer about the individual sections of a façade, but an overall design concept. Schüco is now an architect!